Yesterday, when the sun came out, it was after two days of tempestuous winds, felled trees, black outs and storm surges that broke apart sections of pavement along coastal roads.

The wind was still pushing hard at us when we arrived at Peggy’s Cove.

As we stood there braced against the relentless wind, watching powerful waves breaking over the rocks and jumping sometimes 30 or 40 feet into the air, I was struck by the brutal beauty of it.

“This is special.” I said to my boys. “We might never be back here all together again seeing Peggy’s Cove on a day like this. I’m glad we came.”

We’d stopped at a few places along the coast near the iconic lighthouse to capture a few photos and clips of the spectacular surf. The worst of the storm was over, but it was wickedly windy and cold. We retreated to the car often to warm up.

Thinking about the damage to trees and roads, I saw nature reflect life. Sometimes we’re hit by a heavy storm. We’re suddenly dealing with an unexpected or unforeseen event. We receive unwelcome news. Or we’re at the effect of a brute force in our life.

In the immediate aftermath of life’s storms that roll in from time to time, even before we’ve assessed the damage and while the wind is still blowing hard, we are forced to retreat inside to find comfort and reprieve. While I was writing that sentence, I was thinking about a divorce, a custody battle, a sneaky deception, a physical attack, a job loss, a depression, and a period of near poverty in my own life just a few years ago – all in a 3-year period. Brutal.

But the forces acting on us are always shifting and life affirming. When we become more intently focused, our senses are keyed up in the moment. We struggle against what isn’t truly us and battle our way back into the light.

Sometimes we gawp at the strength of the sea. Then the sun comes out, eventually, and we marvel at the strength of our shores.